Somebody asked me about this, so I am putting my thoughts here: Why not beer yoga? Here is why.
Technically, Hatha Yoga Pradipika says there should be no hard or fast rule about anything. Adherence to rules is itself unyogic. Chapter 1, Verse 15, clubs "adherence to rules" as amongst the many things that destroy yoga.
So, you can see why the beer-swilling and wine-loving yoga practitioners believe they are in the right? Right? Wrong! Because the same verse warns against "Unsteadiness". While of course, many drinkers take pride in their threshold limit, it still is unclear what can trigger unsteadiness even in a heavy drinker (who, if he/she did yoga regularly, will not be a heavy drinker in the first place). So, the same rule that some people use to run around doing their wild thing is also advising against it!
While the Hatha Yoga Pradipika exhortation not to adhere to rules can be seen as an invitation to do anything, it is simple commonsense that is also very much part of yoga that you do not eat /drink anything before a yoga ( or any work-out).
Let's get down to brass tacks:
1) Too much of water even can cause water intoxication, actually leading to cramps. In fact, its old news that drinking a lot of water or energy drinks before a marathon was promoted avidly by manufacturers of these drink till somebody realised that this was causing terrible accidents, even fatalities, on the track. The body is on a high-stress mode during physical activity, and needs to release its energy packets fast. Too much of water actually dilutes and messes up the electrolyte balance of the blood, confusing it thoroughly.
2) Work-out /any physical exertion makes you dehydrated. Alcohol makes you dehydrated? So do you think this is a great combo? Ahhh, it would call for great suspension of disbelief to pretend that it is good!
3) Even mild alcohol interferes with muscle recovery after a work-out. So, I rest my case.
4) The other obvious thing is, if you talk to anybody who is a regular yoga practitioner and not looking for entertainment on the mat, the high comes from the practice itself. Serious yoga practitioners do not need these incentives. Its not just a mystical or spiritual thing: any physical exertion releases the body's own opiates (endorphins). You get a super-kick from a strong practice.
5) A simple analogy should explain the above point even better: a beer yoga session is akin to a one-night stand, while a strong personal practice is like a strong loving relationship. Everybody has their choices even here, so it sort of puts a label on what you are about, on the mat. So, if you say you do beer yoga to a "real" yoga practitioner, they will walk away from you. Its not that they think you are scum, but that they feel you are not serious about the practice, and so have nothing in common with them.
6) But if you are still against such yogic snobbery, here is one last compelling reason why its risky to swill beer while upside down:
There has to be a respectable gap between the time you consume anything (beer or water or food) or yoga practice. Two hours, after a mild intake, and four hours gap between heavy food. Unlike other workout, here you do inversions where the torso is upside down. In many poses the body's blood pressure is switching rapidly, to adjust to this movement of the blood and the body and its load carrying impact of some movements. Alcohol will can have a disastrous impact on this. Not just alcohol, anything can even cause fatalities.
7) Think of it: the flap at the osephagus is there to prevent the food you ate from coming up, If you fill up the tank,then flop yourself upside down, it puts a severe strain on this sphincter, Short term, you would be lucky to get away with acid reflux, But it depends -- if you sphincter is already flaccid, you could just send something up that can actually choke you. You may have heard of some drunk choking on his own vomit? Well, that is technically what could happen when the flap releases stuff it should not, while doing an inversion, after ingesting anything, including water. Also, why would you want to send the stomach acids into your gullet? Stomach acids are so potent they can burn holes in a kerchief. Imagine the impact on this on your throat, where it should not be! And if you eat or drink and do any inversion, you are creating all the ideal conditions for a serious problem. In the long term, the sphincter is even likely to get more flaccid and create chronic conditions of acid reflux. It is not as simple as it sounds. Its an extremely distressing experience. Plus, it is often symptomatic of oesophagal cancer.
If you still argue in favor of beer yoga, god be with you. I have nothing further to say to u, and your ilk!